How long does it take to charge an electric vehicle (EV) with level 2 charging?
The popularity of electric cars has continued to increase in the car market. While more drivers are buying these cars, there are still many who don’t know the ins and outs of electric car ownership. Electric cars require special considerations, such as range preservation in winter, together with the charging process in general.
There are three levels of EV charging, so let’s start with the in-ground option. How long does it take to charge an electric car with a level 2 charger and where can you find them?
What kind of equipment do level 2 chargers need?
According to AFDC, all Level 2 chargers require a J1772 connector, which is similar to Level 1 chargers. Alternatively, they can also operate with a Tesla connector. If you have a Tesla and can’t find a Supercharger station, you can use any Level 2 charging station instead.
In fact, you can top up the battery of any electric car in the US using either a Level 2 or Level 1 charger. Most of these chargers deliver 7kW of power, especially those installed on commercial properties. However, some level 2 home chargers can provide as much as 19.2 kW.
Forbes says 48-amp chargers, which deliver the highest output, are more expensive than 40-amp chargers. The larger chargers are also more complicated to install because NEC codes require them to be wired a certain way.
Another reason why Level 2 chargers can be so expensive is that many households are not equipped to accept them. Most garages only have a single 240V outlet for a large appliance such as a water heater.
If you need a panel upgrade to install an additional 240V outlet, this can cost $2,500 with equipment and labor costs. However, you can install a Level 2 charger for as cheap as $300 if your home has multiple 240V outlets. Still, Forbes also warns that some high-end Level 2 chargers cost up to $1,000.
Depending on which electric car you have, it may already have its own Level 2 portable charger. However, most only come with Level 1 chargers, which can be plugged into any 120V outlet.
Level 2 charging rates for electric vehicles (EV).
NeoCharge tells us that Level 2 charging can restore between 12-30 miles of range within 1 hour. Depending on your EV model, it can take around 8-12 hours to charge the electric car from an empty battery. This means that many electric cars can be fully charged overnight when connected to Level 2 chargers.
According to the Department of Transportation, most PHEV batteries can be fully charged in 1-2 hours. If you have an older electric car (or one with a lower battery capacity), it may only take 4-5 hours to charge it.
How to find Level 2 chargers in your area
If your gas station does not have any Level 2 chargers, you can also find them at public shopping centers. Hotels and commercial establishments may provide Level 2 chargers on site for employees and guests. Level 2 chargers are also installed in universities, apartment complexes and private housing communities.
You can search for “charging station” on Google Maps to find all Level 2 chargers near you. If the charger is located in a place with Google reviews, these can indicate how long you can wait for an open charger. The ratings can also tell you if the charger you prefer is out of order.
Alternatively, you can find electric car chargers using smartphone apps such as Chargepoint and PlugShare. Depending on the location of the charger, you may even be able to reserve space in advance. Even better, you can skip the queue altogether by installing a Level 2 charger in your own home.